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The Perp - A Flash Fiction Story

Faith, Art, writing and learning are Tim’s passions. Tim loves working in education. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.

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They called it a near miss, but I called it a shot in the dark. If not I would now be dead. That is the life of a private detective. I had been chasing the suspect for about half an hour and was not sure if I’d lost him or not. That is until I saw him duck down a dark alley. What was my next move? I don’t like dark places especially when there is a perp hiding out in one. Oh well I had to find out what he was doing.

“Yeah, yeah I know what you are thinking that I have a death wish. That’s not true. I just like the thrill of the ride, the feeling of adventure bullets flying over my head, bullets flying over my head. Hey nobody told me this guy had a gun.”

I pulled myself down into the shadows and watched for the guy to make his next move. It didn’t take long because I saw him or should I say his outline as he made his way back to the entrance of the alley. It was obvious by the way he was moving that he either thought I was dead or had beat a hasty retreat. When he was within a couple of feet of me I jumped out of the shadows and put my gun to his back.

“Drop your weapon” I said as the perp tried to turn and take me out. I was too quick for him. I kicked his legs out from under him and he went down with an oomph and thud. I reached down in the dark and found one wrist. I had him in handcuffs in a matter of seconds though I would have had plenty of time. It seems when he hit the ground he was knocked out cold. Well that is my tale of the near miss that was also the beginning of a strange adventure.

Wait, you want to know how I got to this point. I guess I have a few minutes to spare while I wait for him to wake up. My adventure started a few days ago when this little person stolled up to my desk. By little person I mean elf. Yeah I know what you’re thinking there is no such thing as elves. I thought so too.

Now she wasn’t your Santa type elf, she was an ornery mean looking elf. In other words an elf you don’t wanna piss off but judging by the look on her face she was pissed off. I looked up at her.

“Can I help you?”

“You Jonas?”

“Depends on who wants to know.”

She looked up at me and scowled

“Listen buddy I’m an elf with an attitude and right now I don’t have the time to play any of your human, “I’m. not me but I may be me,” games. So are you Jonas or not?”

“Don’t get your britches in a bunch…I’m Jonas. Now what do I owe the pleasure of having an elf grace the confines of my office? Judging by your attire a very high ranking elf at that.”

“My name is Elmira and you are correct. I am a high ranking elf. In fact I am the 1st elf of the third class in the Circle of Five.”

“Wow, your majesty. I am honored.”

“Listen, don’t be a smart ass. I’m not in the mood. Now are you going to help me or not?”

“Yeah I’ll help you but there’s a matter of my payment.”

She dropped a small bag on the desk. “Here is half your payment, When you find what I’m looking for you’ll get the rest.”

He opened the bag and looked in. A soft whistle escaped his lips. “So what or who am I looking for?”

“You’re looking for a necklace.” She took out a phone and pulled up an image.

“Elves have cell phones?”

She scowled at me. I became a little nervous.

“Elves are not uncivilized. We do embrace modern amenities. Now if you’re done questioning my elvish culture I will show you the picture.”

“I was not questioning your…” She scowled again. I stopped. I took her phone and looked at the necklace.

“Wow, nice collection of rocks. But dare I ask, what’s so special about these rocks as shall we say other expensive rocks?”

“Why do you ask such a question?” She offered up a wry little smile. The kind my ex girlfriend used to give me when I had done something which deserved reprimanding.

My bones went cold but still I managed to open my mouth and spit out a few words. “Well I know you elves and you don’t usually keep jewels for adornment. There is most likely some sort of magic attached to this necklace.”

“I’m impressed. You know a little about the elven nature. The necklace does have a magic attached to it but I’m not at liberty to say what the essence of the magic is.”

“Well, I apologize beforehand but if you want me to find your necklace I need to know what kind of magic I’m dealing with…”

She crossed her arms. “I am not usually this patient with insolent humans but I am desperate to find the necklace…”

“Let me guess you can’t go to a reputable PI because word might get back to the wrong elves the necklace is missing.”

“Yes…”

“What does this necklace do that has you so on edge?”

“It can open a portal from a not so nice realm into this world. I need it back before it happens.”

“The necklace intrigues me…against my better judgement I’ll take your case.”

She smiled again. Her lips curled in malicious pleasure. I wish she’d stop doing that because it started to give me the willies.

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She turned to go.
“Wait,“ I called. “When I’ve found the necklace how will I get in touch with you?”

“Don’t worry, when the time comes I’ll find you.” She smirked.

Again with onerous facial expression. She opened the door and left. “It’s what I was afraid of.” I mumbled to myself.

“I heard that.” She called out from the hallway.

Crap, I forgot the elves had great hearing.

I waited for a few minutes to make sure she was gone. I knew of three jewelers who would deal in stolen off world jewelry. I visited the first two with no results. One was dead because of ripping off a very temperamental troll. The second one swore he didn’t know anything about the necklace. I knew he was telling the truth because I threatened him with having a small pissed off elf visit him. He turned white and told me he heard my third suspect had paid someone for the necklace.

I made my way over to Third and Franklin. I looked across the street to the The Pawn Store. “Original name,” I thought. I looked both ways and crossed the street. “Look Ma I listened.” I said to no one in particular. I opened the door and walked in. A young girl stood behind the counter. She looked up as I entered. I sidled up to the counter. “Is Tarb here?”

She smiled with an I already know who you are and I’m not gonna tell you smile. “Who wants to know?”

“Names Jonas, which I’m sure you already knew.”

She smiled again. “Well he’s not here for you.”

“Why is he going out the back door?”

She looked towards a curtain on the back wall of the room. Before she could protest I brushed past the curtain and out the back door. I saw Tarb round a corner and down a crossing alley. I cursed under my breath and took off after him. I hated alleys, especially dimly lit alleys. Which brings me back to the beginning of my story.

I stood over the prone body of Tarb.

“You gonna look through his pockets or not?”

I turned to find Elmira standing there. She seemed much taller than before.

“Don’t look so surprised. We elves only appear smaller to humans to give you a false sense of superiority. Now does he have the necklace?”

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“I don’t know. I haven’t checked his pockets yet. Why don’t you go ahead and check?”

Jonas watched to see what she would do. The perp started to move.

“Quick before he wakes up.” She shouted. “I need the necklace.”

I walked over to the perp as he pulled himself to his feet. He looked at me then over at Elmira. “You!” He hissed.

“Wait!” I said. “You’re not Leroy.”

“No, I’m Rhet,” He bowed. “I am the chief necklace bearer for the 1st elf of the third class in the Circle of Five.”

“Wait!” I turned to stare at Elmira.

She smiled. Again with the smirking.

“What?” I said trying to throw in a little sarcasm.

“Are you going to believe what he has to say?” She pointed at the other elf.

“I must say the same. However logically if I’m the one who is able to bear the magic of the necklace and she is not then again logically I am the rightful bearer of said necklace.”

“Quite a long winded retort there Rhet…wouldn’t you say?”

“I imagine so but I’m just trying to help you understand the logic in my argument.”

I looked from one to the other. “You have to admit Elmira,Rhet has a valid, in his words, “Logical argument.”

She spat on the ground. “Bah!” She chortled then disappeared.

I looked at Rhet. “So I assume you are the one to whom the necklace belongs. Then who was she?” I glanced at the spot where Elmira once stood.

He looked to the same spot. “She is my sister. She has angry with me ever since I was chosen to carry the necklace and not her.” He looked back at me. “It is why she falsified a story about the necklace and hired you to get it back.”

”Why could she not just take it from you when you were lying unconscious?”

”She could not touch the necklace herself. The magic in the necklace forbids another elf from touching the necklace unless it is presented to them by an off worlder….you.”

”It explains a lot.”

”Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll be on my way. Oh yeah here are your handcuffs back. He dropped the handcuffs to the ground and blinked out.”

I stood there for a few minutes. I pondered over all the events of the last few days. Some things still did not add up. Still I was glad to be done with the elves. Then a thought popped into my head. “Hey, what about the rest of my money.“ I called out to thin air. I guess I was hopping for an answer. The only sound was a screeching cat off in the distance.

© 2021 Timothy Whitt

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